An employee who is heavily tattooed. Images likely to surface are that of a bouncer, mechanic, Carny, or a Mcdrop-out. Thanks to white-collar professionals who have white-hot bravado coupled with artistic balls, stereotypes surrounding tattoos in today’s workforce are not only being challenged, they are being altered.
A hat goes off to these 20 tattooed professionals who are making big figures, and a difference, in today’s corporate world:
Dave Kimelberg: Dave works as both a photographer and corporate lawyer in Boston. He divides his time between his job as General Counsel for an east coast venture capital group and working on his project INKED Inc., which consists of a traveling photography exhibition, a published book and an online social community.
Bob Harper: NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” personal trainer Bob Harper is also a trainer in the Australian version of the show. Harper has trained many celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Ellen DeGeneres, Melissa Etheridge, Guy Ritchie and Jenny McCarthy. Harper has over 8 tattoos.
Alex Campbell: Alex is a preschool teacher. Instead of hiding her koi-fish leg tattoo, she includes it as part of her lesson plan at school.
Robert: Robert is the Director of Analysis for an NYC governmental agency. His sleeve tattoo was a graduation present he gave himself upon receiving his MBA.
Marisa DiMattia: Marisa is a renowned NYC attorney and author, and is the founder and editor of Needled.com, a source for tattoo art and culture.
Joe Chernov: Joeisa Public Relations Director who has found that his skin art does not get in the way of his profession.
Leah: Leah is an MD who is completing her residency at a children’s hospital in St. Louis. The caduceus (symbol of medicine) tattooed on her foot is a tribute to herself and her father, who is also a physician.
Dr. David Ores: Dr. Dave is a medical doctor with a private practice in NYC. Many of Dr. Dave’s tattoos have a medical theme, including a caduceus, the letters “MD” tattooed on his back and a skull with a red medical cross on his left shoulder.
Kristin O’ Malley: Kristin bears a full-leg, double-helix tattoo inspired by her laboratory work and her love of science.
Bob S. Bob is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Lawrence University. Bob and his wife are the founders of veganfreak.net, and he has published numerous books on veganism.
Lara:Lara is a corporate administrative assistant for a prominent German pharmaceutical company. Her full-sleeve tattoo was done by her tattoo artist husband, who is based out of Connecticut.
Bruce Potts: Bruce Potts is a teacher of Public Speaking at the University of New Mexico and has a full tribal face tattoo that he says he has wanted since he was 12 years old. Check out more outrageous facial tattoos.
Nina: Nina is a German-born veterinarian (DVM, PhD in microbiology), and has been a Professor of Molecular Biology since 2005.
Sebastian Rivas: Sebastian is a 23-year old real estate agent who, at the present time, chooses to keep his tattoos under-cover.
Nicole: Nicole is an Executive Assistant to the CEO of an Information Technology company in Boston. The artist who started Nicole’s Japanese-inspired back piece recently died, and now she is contemplating when, and if, to finish the piece.
Jeremy Loerch: Jeremy is a teacher at Billings Middle School in Seattle. His body art is so consistently visible that students refer to him as “JAM,” or Jeremy Art Museum. Students, he says, “joke that he is on display every day.”
Gene: Gene is a litigation consultant for a major consulting firm in Boston.
Courtney Pecola: Courtney, a proud native of New Hampshire, bears a tattoo of NH’s lilacs across her chest. When she interviewed at ZB Sports in Philadelphia, she was hired immediately, and worked her way up to vice president. “Courtney is one of the brightest women I’ve ever met,” says Pecola’s boss, Jim Hoisington. “If I passed on her because of her tattoos, I’d be out one phenomenal employee.”
Miko: Miko is an Operations Engineer for Glaceau, a frontrunner in enhanced water products. He proudly displays his full-sleeve tattoos among co-workers and clientele alike.
Colleen Harris: Colleen holds multiple MA degrees and a job at the University of Kentucky’s research library.
Although tattoos are not the career killers they once were, there is an acceptance separation between tattooed employees who are educated and esteemed, and tattooed employees who, at the present, are not. While most professionals do cover up while on-the-job, most likely this is because it’s expected, not mandated. If these white-collar pros got caught with their ink exposed, there is a good chance their job would not be in jeopardy, as compared to a tatted employee slinging hash at a Waffle House.
Alternatively, some companies embrace visibly tattooed employees (as long as the tattoos are non-offensive or aggressive), because these workers may help to project a hipper business image. Such companies include Whole Foods Market, Sony and Ben & Jerry’s.
With tattoo acceptance among vegan foods, PS3′s and drug-monikered ice cream, who needs an MBA?